Tag Archive | swing dance

Crane Estate 1920s Style Picnic on the Lawn

Crane Estate 20s Lawn Party-2014

Crane Estate 20s Lawn Party-2014

So after my recent post on vintage picnics, I had a chance to put together one of my own!  Some friends and I recently attended the Second Annual 1920s Lawn Party at the Crane Estate in Ipswich, Ma. The event is truly the “cat’s pajamas” with the majority of attendees dressed in clothing inspired by the Roaring Twenties.  It  is held by Boston Swing Central in partnership with the Trustees of Reservations.

They give free swing and Charleston lessons on the  great wooden dance floor set up at the foot of the stately mansion. And you get to dance to the tunes of the  Baby Soda  Jazz Band all day. There are a bunch of vendors selling all sorts of  clothing and accessories for the vintage lover.  Antique cars set up on the lawn offer great opportunities for fun photos,  A beautiful Italian garden is available for games of  croquet and badminton. And, most importantly, there are the picnics. Everyone sets up on the massive expanse of lawn to relax, enjoy the beautiful surroundings and channel their inner F. Scott and Zelda.

My 20s inspired outfit-Vintage Style Files

My 20s inspired outfit

This year I wore a lace handkerchief hem dress by Nataya, a style that we just happen to  sell at Blue Velvet Vintage!
T strap shoes are Chelsea Crew brand
Hat~thrifted for 1.99     Beaded bag 6.00~purchased at Brimfield Antique Flea Market

Classy dames at the 20s lawn party

Classy dames at the 20s Lawn Party

Vintage vendors

Great vintage shopping!

Beautiful dress at Tangerine Boutique's booth

Beautiful dress at Tangerine Boutique’s booth

More vintage goodies from Tangerine Boutique

More vintage goodies from Tangerine Boutique

Fellow Vintage Fashion Guild member, Melody Fortier, owner of Tangerine Boutique, had a fantastic booth set up with a stunning array of vintage finery.

My Blue Ribbon picnic spread

My Blue Ribbon picnic spread

As if the day wasn’t fun enough, I even won a blue ribbon for best picnic spread! How cool it that?  I was completely unaware that they even judged this sort of thing. So it was a pleasant surprise.

I had recently picked up a great plaid cotton fringed picnic blanket at the SOWA Vintage Market in Boston. (A must visit if you’re ever in the area).  It was only $24.00 and in perfect condition.  When I spotted it I knew it would be perfect for the lawn party.  The blanket inspired me to start looking for more items to put my picnic together.

So the hunt was on! At the Cambridge Antiques Market I spotted the coolest vintage cooler. Snagged that for $30.00 and the picnic basket for $15.00. The cooler will make a perfect ice bucket for storing wine or beer on my tiki bar back at home. The vintage fruit print tablecloth I actually travel with. When I’m on the road for a buying trip I like to take little things I can use to make all the hotel rooms I have to stay in look more homey. I know, it sounds a little crazy, but I love to  have vintage items around me no matter where I land and I think it adds a cheerful touch to your usual generic hotel chain room decor.

Anyway, I thrifted the rest of the items, which is always fun. Picked up vase, glasses, platters etc at Salvation Army.  Everything totalled less than $20.00.  So if you put your mind to it, you can really put together a nice little retro picnic without spending a fortune.  Heck, the food ended up costing more than all the accessories!

Am already looking forward to next years soiree.   And I’ll be on the lookout  for more picnic paraphenalia to add to my collection.

Sunset at Crane Estate

Sunset at Crane Estate

And though the day had been overcast, we were treated to a lovely sunset at the end of a lovely day!


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Celebrate Armed Forces Day at Florida USO Show and Swing Dance

USO dance

1940s USP dance in St Petersburg Florida

If you live in Florida and want something really fun to do this weekend and support our military and their families, then hightail it on over to St. Petersburg for the  G.I. Jive, 1940s themed USO show and swing dance being held at the historic Coliseum ballroom.  The event kicks off Armed Forces Weekend with live music, swing dancing, prizes, vintage fashion contest and more.

coliseum ballroom

Inside the historic Coliseum ballroom in St. Petersburg Fl

The Coliseum ballroom was built in 1924, so has lots of character,  along with  a great oak dance floor. Perfect for showing off your swing outs, spins and swivals!  Just go to USO Tampa Bay Facebook Page or Swingang Tampa for more information. And don’t forget your 1940s style outfits!

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The latest contributions to my shoe addiction


There’s nothing I like as much as buying and wearing vintage clothing, except maybe buying shoes that go with vintage clothing!

So when visiting the Palm Beach Gardens Mall recently to help my husband shop for  clothes, I spotted these unbelievably cute platform wedge sandals in the window of the Nine West store.  Every woman knows that no matter how many pairs of shoes you already own, you can always come up with some justification to buy more.

So I convinced myself that because of their 40s/50s vibe and the gorgeous multi colors, I was sure to get tons of wear out them, since they would certainly go well with many of my vintage sundresses.    Also, I felt I deserved to reward myself for having spent the day in a mall, which I usually try to avoid like a bad case of swine flu!

The bamboo makes them so tropically delicious!

The bamboo makes them so tropically delicious!

You can find them online for only 69.99

This next pair came in the mail a few days ago from Dancestore.com.  This company sells  really cute and comfortable swing dance shoes.  And again, I was helping my husband, as he wanted a new pair of dance sneakers, when I just happened to accidently find myself in the women’s  shoe section. For the life of me, I don’t know how I ended up there! I certainly didn’t need yet another pair of dance shoes!

But I just couldn’t resist these adorable vintage style Mary Jane wingtips. The heel is perfect for swing dancing.  I’m constantly amazed at the how the women on Dancing with the Stars glide around the floor in those sky high pumps.  I know I would end up in traction after one routine!

I’ve only worn them once so far, but they’re extremely comfortable, with a nice padded insole.  Like Eliza Doolittle sang in “My Fair Lady”, “I could have danced all night, I could have danced all night and still have begged for more.”

Aris Allen Mary Jane wingtip swing dance shoes

Aris Allen Mary Jane wingtip swing dance shoes


They’re a very reasonable $69.95 and come in black and white as well.

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Swing in the New Year at St. Petes Coliseum Ballroom


Coliseum ballroom
Well, now that the Christmas gorge fest is over, it's time to start working off some of those cookies you washed down with all that  brandy spiked eggnog.   A fun way to burn off those calories, while wearing some fancy shmancy vintage dress,  is to jitterbug your way into 2009 at a  New Year's Eve swing dance party.

This year the Tampa Bay Swing Gang and Swing Time  have joined forces to host the most spectacular New Year's swing dance event ever held in Florida!  If you live here, or are just visiting for the holidays, you need to get yourself over to the historic Coliseum Ballroom in St. Petersburg for some serious jumpin and jivin.

It's open to all ages and it doesn't even matter if you never tried dancing before. They're giving a free lesson from 8-9 pm and there's no partner necessary!

There's even going to be a vintage fashion contest.  Winners get a free professional photo shoot by Buffalo Gal Vintage,  gift certificates and other cool prizes.  So I'm off to search my inventory for something fabulous to wear!

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Good Source for Vintage Style Shoes


40’s and 50’s style platform wedge type shoes are my favorites. They’re a great way to wear heels that are comfortable to walk or even dance in.  So in my never ending quest to find new styles I came across a webite that has some really cute ones.

These  have been marked down to $31.99 and I wanted to scream because they don’t have any size 7’s left. But if you wear a 6. or 8 and higher, you’re in luck.

Love the metallic leather and multi print straps on these .


They look fab in black too!


But since I’ve been  looking for a red pair of shoes to swing dance in, I decided these hand tooled cuties  would fit the bill nicely.  Luckily they have them in my size! They come in black and gold too.


The name of the site is Massey’s and they’ve got many more styles with a vintage flair.

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